Suspect in hit-and-run that killed Quinault tribal member to appear in court

Grays Harbor County Prosecutor Katie Svoboda said she expects to file felony homicide charges against the suspect on Wednesday, but added that hate-crime elements in any charges are unlikely.

The 31-year-old Hoquiam man arrested in connection with the fatal hit-and-run at a Grays Harbor County campground is scheduled to appear in court for the first time Wednesday afternoon.

Law-enforcement officials had been looking for the driver since Saturday, when witnesses say he intentionally ran over and killed Jimmy Smith-Kramer and injured Harvey Anderson at the campground on the Humptulips River off Donkey Creek Road. Both Smith-Kramer, 20, and Anderson, 19, are Quinault tribal members.

The suspect was booked into the Grays Harbor County jail Tuesday evening on suspicion of second-degree homicide. He was arrested after a tip came in from a Hoquiam police officer who was familiar with him, the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office said.

Grays Harbor County Prosecutor Katie Svoboda said she expects to file felony homicide charges against the suspect on Wednesday, but said she has yet to review investigators’ reports, or statements from the suspect or witnesses as of early Wednesday. Svoboda added that hate-crime elements in any charges are unlikely, however.

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“I have not seen anything that backs that up,” she said. “What I’m understanding was that (racial slur claims) was third- or fourth-hand information. Again, I have not read their statements, but at this point I don’t see charging that.”

At least one tribal youth who witnessed the fatal hit-and-run has told tribal officials that the suspect shouted racial slurs and “war whoops” during the incident. Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp stood behind the youth’s account Tuesday, noting that investigators didn’t thoroughly…

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